NEWPORT RFC legend David Watkins was honoured with a Special Recognition Award at the 2017 Wales Sport Awards.

The Blaina-born dual code star, known as Dai, is the only man to captain both Wales and Great Britain in rugby union and rugby league.

He was skipper the last time Wales beat New Zealand in a full international in either code – a 25-24 Rugby League World Cup win in Swansea in 1975.

Born in 1942, Watkins played for Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Pontypool before joining Newport in 1961.

His six years at Rodney Parade saw him score 294 points in 202 games at fly-half, the highlight being a 3-0 home win over the touring All Blacks in 1963.

Watkins was capped 21 times by Wales, winning the Triple Crown in 1965, and played six times for the British and Irish Lions in Australia and New Zealand in 1966.

His rugby union playing career came to an end in 1967 when he moved to Salford for £16,000.

Watkins became one of the best utility backs in the game and he remains Salford's record points scorer with 2,907 in 407 games.

In 1972-73 he kicked a world record 221 goals in a season. He also holds the longest scoring run, notching points in 92 consecutive matches for Salford from 19 August 1972 to April 1974.

Wales Rugby League heritage number 268, he won 16 Wales RL caps, captaining the side to 1975 World Cup wins over England, New Zealand and France. He won six caps for Great Britain.

In 1977 he coached Great Britain in the World Cup as they reached the final only to lose 13-12 to Australia.

He then went on to coach Wales and also became one of the founders and coaches of Cardiff City Blue Dragons in 1981, helping to reintroduce rugby league into South Wales.

He received an MBE in 1986 and became Newport RFC team manager in 1992 – three years before the ban was lifted for any rugby league players and administrators to be involved in rugby union.

Watkins later became Newport chairman and in 2009 became president of Celtic Crusaders RLFC.

South Wales Argus:

After receiving his award at the Celtic Manor on Monday night, Watkins said: “I wasn’t expecting this at all.

“When you play your sport you hope you’ll do well and play in a good side and that’s it.

“I was small, found it tough and was pleased to do well.

“For me, a Blaina boy, to be honoured like this is special.

“I still enjoy watching both codes and I’m pleased that I had the opportunity to play and be involved in both rugby union and rugby league. Thank you to everyone.”

Phil Bennett, who followed Watkins into the Wales rugby union side at fly-half, paid tribute as he presented the award.

“There’s so many great outside-halves, from Cliff Morgan to Barry John, but this gentleman is up there at the very top,” said Bennett.